I agree with Stephen. There is nothing about this negative that should cause undue problems. I definitely has sufficient exposure, and after looking at it again, and Stephen's inversion on a better monitor it doesn't look contrasty either.
Something strange about this enlarging issue. 75w was always one of the standards in so many small/medium format enlargers. I used an Omega B66 for years with a 75w bulb and often made prints smaller than 8x10. Never had a problem.
Is this an appropriate time to emphasis the critical evaluation issue? Bumper sticker idea: Know your Theory! :)
If you were to pull the negative a little bit in the carrier so it shows a little air - you should get maximum black there - and it should be "close" to the maximum black of your film. This may rule out any impact "developing the film" may have confused you with.
(35mm has a higher density on purpose - but 120 usually is close to clear - so if you can get black on clear air you can get black anywhere).
I attribute more of the quality of Adams's prints to hard work printing. If one reads his technical books carefully (particularly the margins where he describes what was done in the example image), many of his images/prints, including MOST of the famous ones, succeeded despite deviation from the techniques in the main body text. In many cases errors were made, or the negatives were made before the Zone System had been formulated, or when metering was approximate at best etc.
Considering the main body text would have you believe it is critical to expose and develop the negative with precision, to print on grade 2 etc, relatively few of the examples or his best loved images were made that way. His prints are all over the place, from grade 1 to grade 6. And in describing how the negatives were made, how often does he say "unfortunately...", "in retrospect it would have been better...", "I accidentally...", "I forgot...", "the cliffs moved into shadow during the exposure...".
I would love to see you all in action taking photos. It would be great to see this, it would be a wonderful way to learn from each other. Certainly far better than reading books or writting about it.
There are always situation where one is off from the so called ideal line. By mistake or because one is forced to from the situation. The knowledge or skill should be there to master those situations.
However striving to get it going in the right direction would help in the long run.
Maybe Adams got fed up with all the work in the darkroom that he wanted to perfect his work.
Besides when I see videos of Adams he seems to be a jovial person, so that, well he may let things slip here and there. My sympathetic feeling I get listening to him.
Michael, it's not my proof. In fact, it's a logical fallacy. Did the sarcasm not come across?
I've been review Henry's book over the last few days. When I first read it, I didn't like how he kept referencing popular sources. Now, I think it was a smart move. Instead of simply ignoring them, he disproves their arguments. He does a great job at experimental research. I have a little trouble with some of his exposure and film speed theory and I wish he went into more detail on tone reproduction theory with the four quadrant graph, but you can't expect to agree on everything.